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YSU police chief: Be aware of surroundings



Published: Fri, August 23, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.

photo

Beshara

By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

Youngstown

Youngstown State University Police Chief John Beshara is urging students who live in or frequent the areas around campus hit by a recent rash of robberies to be aware of what’s going on around them.

The term in police lingo is “situational awareness,” and Beshara said it is important for people to know who and what is around at all times, especially at night.

“We need to be more in tune about what is going on around us,” Beshara said.

The area of the North Side by the YSU campus has had five armed robberies and one attempted robbery since late Saturday evening, although none of the robberies has occurred on campus. A large number of students live off campus on the North Side, however, near the places where the robberies occurred.

On Thursday, a 19-year-old man told police he and a friend were robbed about 12:15 a.m. in the 400 block of Norwood Avenue on the North Side.

The man said he was walking to his car after attending a party when a man wearing a red T-shirt and a Chicago Bulls cap pulled a gun and demanded money. The man handed over his wallet, and the robber and another man ran west toward Belmont Avenue, reports said.

City and YSU police have been running extra patrols in the area since the first robberies over the weekend, and some of the city patrols consist of officers in unmarked cruisers.

YSU students who have signed up for the school’s emergency alert system have received safety bulletins on two of the robberies that have happened close to campus, including the one early Thursday. Thursday afternoon, the system told students to exercise caution if they are going out late at night, especially if they are heading north of campus.

Beshara said a greater pitch is being made to educate students and others at the university of the situation and telling people what they should do. This will be on the university’s website and also is being placed on fliers in all the buildings on campus, Beshara said.

In the other robberies, victims reported that two suspects, dressed in all black and wearing masks over their faces, robbed them.

City police Capt. Mark Milstead, who heads up the detective bureau, said investigators are checking people who have committed similar crimes in the past. Witness reports state the suspects appear to be either juveniles or under 20 years old, and detectives are looking at juvenile suspects also, Milstead said.

Investigators also have received tips from citizens in the area and are following up on them, Milstead said.

Beshara said other things people can do to stay safe is to go out in a group of people if possible, and if confronted, give up valuables immediately.

“Why fight over something that can be replaced?” Beshara said.

City officers working the unmarked detail have taken two guns so far off people they stopped and made a drug arrest Wednesday at 11 p.m., when Alfred Bunting Jr., 38, was found walking in the road in the 100 block of Benita Avenue. He ran from officers but was caught a short time later. Police found 19 Vicodin painkillers on him and $100 cash in his shoe.

He was taken to the Mahoning County jail and is expected to be arraigned today.


Comments

1zz3(874 comments)posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Beware of your surroundings!! WOW this should increase enrollment at YSU LOL what a joke Thugstown is!! hey all you like YR that think this what ever it is, is the greatest town since Atlantis!! Even your police chief is admitting its a war zone in Thugstown WOW How sad the population were left with has destroyed almost everything SOP

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2DwightK(1179 comments)posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Another strike against YSU.

Oh, and Vindy, what's up with not publishing a description of the assailants? Are we supposed to be on the lookout for a "man"?

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3city_resident(501 comments)posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

It's amazing how much damage 3 punks can do to the reputation of the university and nearby neighborhoods in only one week.

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4southsidedave(4709 comments)posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The area surrounding YSU has always been a breeding ground for thugs....a few more incidents will almost certainly diminish all the good that has recently happened downtown.

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5Not_Surprised(46 comments)posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Stand your ground!

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6zz3(874 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

DwightK powers higher than local has prevented naming any identifing features for fear of profiling even for police (what a joke) In other words you can't say 'black", or african american, and all other ethnic backrounds except white. Already taking place in NYC along with removing stop and frisk. Police are afraid of arresting anyone or Mr. Holder will be on your butt!! Guess why?? come on.... Well here it is: It caught too many african americans. Crime went down because of this stop and frisk! But no longer PC!! WOW

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